Clear the crap off the books

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel by Steve Estes

I know that our elected officials are busy folks and often don’t have time to do everything they want to in short state legislative sessions.

But there is one thing that would seem to me to be important somewhere along the line and that is to go through some of the old, old, old, old, really old laws still on the books and get rid of them if they’re no longer appropriate.

Being the quirky human being that I am, I find great amusement in sometimes just browsing around the internet for strange, weird, and usually really stupid laws that are still on the books.

For instance, did you know that in Alabama and Arkansas, it is still legal to beat your wife? In Alabama you may only beat your wife with a stick smaller than the diameter of your thumb. And in Arkansas, you can’t beat her more than once a month. There is no limitation on choice of weapons.

In Delaware, it is illegal to get married on a dare. If this law were enforced, half the drunks in the state would still be single.

And Rhode Island may well become the marriage capital of the country once people discover that you can have your marriage annulled just by declaring that the other person is an idiot or a lunatic. This is the primary reason for 50 percent of all divorces if you listen to the testimony of the parties involved.

In St. Louis, in order for a woman to be rescued by an on-duty firefighter, they must be fully dressed. If they are in a nightgown, the rescuer must allow them to burn. It says nothing about whether the birthday suit is considered fully dressed, but it doesn’t classify as a nightgown.

Of course, Florida is not without its quirky laws still on the books.

For instance, In Miami, it is illegal for a man to wear to strapless gown. It says nothing about wearing a spaghetti-strapped ensemble. In Sarasota, it is illegal to sing while wearing a bathing suit.

Women who fall asleep under a hair dryer can be arrested and fined, as can the salon that allows it.

Women may not parachute on a Sunday or they can be arrested.

In Cape Coral you can’t hang your clothes outside on a clothesline to dry. It says nothing about stringing them from the porch railing.

Unless you own the house, you may not park your pick-up truck in the driveway or in front of the house on the street.

And then there is Daytona Beach where once upon a time there must have been a serious issue with people molesting trash cans because they made it illegal to do so. Why anyone would want to molest a trash can is beyond me, but if you get the urge in Daytona Beach, ignore it please or go to jail.

And you can’t be drunk and stoned at the same time in Florida. The law states you can’t be under the influence of narcotics if you’re intoxicated.

And it appears many communities have been dealing improperly with their ladies of the night, for the law says they must be given spending money, banned from the state for five years and be given a bus ticket out of town.

If you see your neighbor’s house on fire, you have to tell him/her that it’s on fire or face jail time. You don’t call the fire department. You search out the neighbor and tell them.

And this might actually be appropriate in the Keys: You may not fish while driving across a bridge. Of course, it doesn’t specify if the passenger can fish while the vehicle is moving since the passenger isn’t driving.

And if you actually shower in the nude in Florida, you are committing a punishable offense. I’m not sure what clothes you have to wear, but you can’t shower nude.

And I have to wonder who was so offended by the passing of gas on a regular basis, and where it happened that it was made illegal to fart in a public place after 6 p.m. on a Thursday.

In Key West, you may not spit on a church floor. And apparently, despite the current Moral-majority mindset of the elected state officials, it’s fine for two men or two women to live together in “open and gross lewdness” because the law making this an offense deals only with unmarried men and women together.

And the insanity goes on. A woman can be fined posthumously (although one wonders how we’d collect) if she’s electrocuted in the bathroom while using self-grooming devices.

And in the vein of klutz actions, it is against the law to break more than three dishes per day, or chip the edges of more than four cups or saucers. I would be in jail half my life.

And just so you think Florida is the only weird Southern state, in Georgia, you can’t change the clothes on a mannequin unless the curtains are down.

Perhaps a few hours deleting some rules might be in order.

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